Thursday, 20 May 2010
Weekend Vacation Part 3: Smoky Cape Lighthouse
After walking through the Gaol, Mum and I headed back onto the roads driving south again. We had planned to try and stay off the main highway as much as possible and instead stick to the winding "Scenic" highways instead; they're not all very clearly marked however, and one wrong turn led us into the beautiful Arakoon and Hat Head State Parks and eventually to the breath-taking Smoky Cape Lighthouse.
This little homestead turned out to have a very rich history.
Smoky Bay was named by Captain Cook himself; named for the great amount of smoke rising in the area from Aboriginal burn-off fires.
It's also claiming to be the highest residence on the Western shore of Australia. I don't know if it's true or not but it certainly is up very high, and has an absolutely spectacular view.
This lighthouse was finished in 1891 and is apparently one of the last lighthouses built for "architectural excellence" or aesthetics. All future lighthouses would simply be engineering projects with all the stress on functionality, not beauty.
It also has an octagonal tower. It's electric now of course, but for many many years it was run by keepers and their family. Now-a-days you can actually rent rooms to stay at the old keeper's house!
Looking around from the top of this headland, you can't see any signs of human civilisation. It's an incredibly isolating feeling which is very rare now-a-days with beach-front views and properties becoming all the rage.
I really can't imagine what it would have been like living there back in the days before cars though; so far from other people.
It IS a drop dead gorgeous location though, and whoever is the current caretaker is doing a phenomenal job. Fresh new paint and trim on everything!
I've aways had a little secret dream of being a lighthouse keeper.